European Fashion Weeks: Careful Planning, Strict Adherence to Local Guidelines and Outdoor Venues


Myriad fashion houses over the past few weeks have achieved the seemingly impossible task of safely executing Spring 2021 Fashion shows during the global pandemic in London, Milan and Paris – from the biggest megabrands like Chanel, Dior and Valentino down to smaller, more independent labels such as Gabriela Hearst and Drome. How did they do it?


The “how” came down to an admixture of careful planning, strict adherence to government guidelines and utilization of outdoor venues when possible. In Paris, restrictions were in place, limiting the number of fashion show guests to 1,000 individuals or less, and all guests were required to wear face coverings. 


The city had a spike in Covid-19 infections just a few days before the first show; therefore, all the bars and cafes were closed down; restaurants were allowed to stay open, but they could not seat parties larger than six, and they required three feet of social distancing between each guest. Generally, the fashion shows maintained a similar amount of social distance between seats for the audience members, and due to travel restrictions, some brands such as Balmain and Miu Miu concocted novel solutions to bring key players in virtually with live feeds and screens as stand-ins for celebrity fans who could not be there in person.


The feeling of attending the socially distanced shows was largely dependent on how many audience members there were, where the events took place, and of course, a picture is worth a thousand words.


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